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Dr. Julie Robinson, ISS Chief Scientist, Friday, 7-31-15 August 1, 2015

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Dr. Julie Robinson, ISS Chief Scientist, Friday, 7-31-15


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Guest: Dr. Julie A. Robinson. Topics: ISS research, the ISS 1 year study, the Twins Study, ISS science and more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Dr. Julie Robinson, ISS Chief Scientist, to the program. During our 71 minute discussion, Dr. Robinson provided us with an overview of science on the ISS, specifically identifying two goals: 1: Research for BLEO; 2: Developing LEO for long term space use and for benefiting life here on Earth. We discussed the logistics of science on the ISS, the ISS international partnership and how ISS resources are allocated to the partners for science as well as other projects. Our guest further broke this down between Russian and the U.S. and then said that for the U.S. segment, the U.S. has about a 76% usage allocation of ISS resources. We talked about the science done on the ISS, the mix with government and commercial projects, then we started talking about the 1 year study with the Russian cosmonaut and American astronaut while at the same time doing the Twin Study with astronaut Scott Kelly on the ISS with his brother Mark Kelly here on the ground. Dr. Robinson spent much of the balance of our interview time going into the specifics of these concurrent studies, the investigation categories for each study, and more. Our guest fielded questions about the length of time for the study being fixed at one year rather than being longer and objective oriented. As you will hear, ISS logistics, using the Soyuz as a lifeboat, and the overall ISS operations and other experiments going on all contribute to why a one year study was settled on rather than a long duration study or one based on achieving certain accomplishments or objectives. Dr. Robinson talked about the possibility of future studies given that they anticipate issues and information from this first study suggesting more refined studies to be undertaken in the future. Listeners emailed our guest several questions including asking her about the assumed low science productivity on the ISS, a statement Dr. Robinson refuted with evidence. BJohn also asked about low gravity issues. Later, in a follow up question, BJohn asked about a Phobos mission and doing human spaceflight mission simulations on the station. Don’t miss Dr. Robinson’s response to these questions. Dr. Bill Rowe called to talk to her about CO2 buildup, oxidative stress, EVAs, and possible magnesium deficiencies in astronauts while in space. We talked radiation issues, the OSHA rules for maxing out on radiation, and finding astronauts for the long mission that would not be disqualified due to the OSHA radiation rules. Vision problems, fluid shifts and other complications were discussed throughout our interview with Dr. Robinson. A listener commented that both participants in the 1 year study were men and wanted to know about gender differences which Dr. Robinson addressed. Another listener wanted to know about shared access of the information and if it would be made available to the commercial industry, the space tourism industry, even Mars One as an example. Later in the segment, Dr. Robinson went into much more detail regarding the investigation categories for both the 1 year and the Twin Study. When talking about fluid shifts, she was asked about differences in the Russian approach as compared to the American approach. One example that she provided us was the Russian use of their Chibis suit which sucks fluid back down to the legs. In making additional points in reference to space settlement questions, Dr. Robinson talked about comparisons with space to early oceanic exploration and said that people are not living at sea for their entire life even today. Don’t miss this discussion. Based on other questions, the human gravity RX was discussed along with the use and challenges regarding centrifuges in space, alternative propulsion to get to a destination much quicker, and the fact that even a low gravity body is better for people than no gravity. Again, don’t miss the discussion. We talked more about behavioral studies, Dr. Doug asked a series of three questions that took us through to the end of our program with other listeners asking questions in-between Doug’s. For example, cognitive issues came up as did timelines and influences to making rapid research progress including money and financing. As we were about to end, I did ask about genetic screening, experimentation, and modification. Don’t miss what our guest had to say about this and why. As we were ending, I inquired about research plans once the ISS was deorbited. Again, don’t miss the options that were discussed with us. Dr. Robinson left us with thoughtful concluding comments you will want to hear, plus she provided us with the social media contact information to follow ISS research on a regular basis.

Please post your comments/questions for this show on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Robinson at NASA or through me.


Sir Martin Rees, Sunday, 6-17-12 June 18, 2012

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Sir Martin Rees, Sunday, 6-17-12


Guest:  Sir Martin Rees.  Topics:  Science in our society, space development, political leadership, education & more.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed back Sir Martin Rees to discuss his new book, “From Here To Infinity: A Vision For The Future Of Science.” Please remember that if you order this book from Amazon using www.amazon.com/Here-Infinity-Vision-Future-Science/dp/0393063070/ref=onegiantlea20, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/One Giant Leap Foundation.  Lord Rees started our discussion by talking about the amazing things we have learned about the cosmos in a very short period of time.  He also explained that this new book is based on a series of lectures he did with BBC Radio.  We also talked about science reporting in the media but we focused on teacher issues, both in the UK and the U.S.  Another topic covered in his book was religion and science conflicts. An example cited was creationism.  We also talked about space as a spiritual experience.  We then talked about commercial space development with companies such as SpaceX, the high risk averseness of NASA, and the fact that private companies can take on more risks.  Lord Rees expressed the view that for human spaceflight for sure, we will see more and more of it being done by the private sector. Our guest was asked about science on the ISS & he said it was hard to justify the ISS on the grounds of science.  Jack called in to ask talk about the outstanding history programs on the Royal Society website, http://royalsociety.org/Podcasts-of-Library-events.  He also mentioned famous sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, www.amazon.com/Quicksilver-The-Baroque-Cycle-Vol/dp/0380977427.  Jack’s call was followed by John in Atlanta who talked about spirituality, consciousness, religion and the work of Roger Penrose.  This led to an interesting discussion about the search for the unified theory and the difference in perspective with cosmology and fundamental physics.  Our next topic was in response to a note from Fred about political leadership and space/science issues.  Out last topic of the segment dealt with the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) and the search for extraterrestrial life.  We asked questions about the impact on cultures were life off Earth discovered.  Sir Martin had much to say about this subject.

In our second segment, we started out talking about science fiction.  Sir Martin is fascinated by the ideas in science fiction so don’t miss his comments on this subject.  Harold in Los Angeles asked if we might be slowing down in our rate of discovery of new science & space information.  This is another terrific discussion.  We then talked about the Earth’s population growth and the intellectual shift to Asia away from the west.  Lord Rees talked about the need to balance out science and development in the under developed regions, focusing on Africa for example  Later in the segment, we talked about bringing space resources back to Earth & our guest said the economics of doing this are still up in the air.  Space settlement and returning to the Moon came up as did private missions to Mars and the asteroids.  Our guest suggested that one way Mars missions might be possible in the future, but the probability of doing it near term & funding such a mission remains somewhat low at this time.  Our guest also mentioned genetic modification for those that do settle off Earth but thought the ethics of doing it on Earth would make it unlikely to happen here.

If you have comments/questions for Sir Martin Rees, please post them on The Space Show blog.